Old, deaf dog overjoyed to see owner return from military service after months apart

Dogs are the most loyal pets you can have. Once they’re part of your life, they’ll love you forever—no matter how far or how long you’re apart.

It’s always beautiful watching people reunite with their dogs, especially people who have been away from home for military service. For one young woman, there was no greater feeling in the world than coming home to see her old dog again—and they’re reunion was truly beautiful.

In 2015, 21-year-old Army private Hannah Foraker left her home in Ohio to attend 10 weeks of basic training. It was the first time she had really been away.

“I have never been away from home before, so this was a huge deal for me,” she told Today. “It’s truly a character building experience and makes you appreciate the little things in life.”

While it was an exciting step in her life and career, it wasn’t without sadness: for one, it meant having to be apart from her beloved old dog, Buddy.

Buddy was a 13-year-old golden retriever. The two had grown up together.

“She’s very old and has arthritis and is mostly deaf,” Hannah told Buzzfeed. “But I still remember getting her as a puppy.”

“It pulled at my heartstrings, to say goodbye, though having never actually left home before I didn’t realize the importance of giving proper goodbyes,” she told Today.

But after three months apart, Hannah returned home for the holidays… and no one was more excited to see her than her old dog.

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“We opened the front door and she came running out and greeted me and my family, but then kind of did a double take and came back to me,” she told Buzzfeed. 

“She was completely overwhelmed and she couldn’t even stand up.”

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Buddy was so overwhelmed with joy that that she collapsed in Hannah’s lap, just wanting to be close with his old friend.

“She just collapsed in pure happiness,” Hannah told Today. “She just wanted me to hug her and reaffirm that I was actually there.”

Watch the heartwarming reunion:

That video has gone viral, gaining nearly 7 million views on YouTube.

It was a beautiful reunion—and that was only the beginning: the old dog really perked up during Hannah’s visit home.

“My parents were so astonished by how happy she was during my time at home,” Hannah told Buzzfeed.

“She normally has trouble going up and down the stairs and takes shorter walks, but now that I was home she was so happy and active. She would get up and do her happy dance.”

With a dog at that age, you can’t take for granted that they’ll always be there when you get back—which makes the goodbyes so hard but the reunions all the more special.

It shows the unbreakable bond between dogs and their humans. Share this beautiful story!